Option Investor
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It was 95 degrees here today in the Detroit area and people were pissing and moaning about the heat. These are the very same people who complain in winter when the temperature goes down to 10 degrees. Basically, these people will complain about anything to anyone who will listen.

These are typically the same folks who are always looking for someone else to blame for anything bad that happens in their life. This is one of my pet peeves. In reality, 90% of everything that happens to you is a result of your own actions (or inactions). Who needs negativity in their life? Not me, and I suspect not you.

I know people like this - and I stay as far away from them as I can get. Sometimes these people are in your family. That makes it tougher to distance yourself. We've been taught to believe that you have to be more patient and understanding with relatives, simply because they're relatives. You likely had no real choice in who is related to you.

It's that fallacy about unconditional love. It's fine for puppies, but adults need to be accountable - related or otherwise. You're thinking that this is easier to say, but difficult to do. I agree. It's a matter of establishing priorities and admitting that those who are close to you may be imperfect (or a mess). Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and who are supportive - not people who are an emotional and financial drain. It's self-preservation.

I have an ex-wife who is now an "ex" for those very reasons. Plus, I have a son-in-law who is on his way out. I swear that, when he was conceived, someone hit the evolutionary process rewind button. He walks upright, and that's on a good day.

I'm ranting a little and, believe it or not, there's a point to all this. We are affected by these people. They're distractions. And, the things we, as traders, don't need are distractions. We need to be able to focus. When our trades are threatened, we need to have a clear mind to be able to weigh alternatives and make informed decisions.

So, you now see how you can have an . Give some thought to distancing yourself from negative people and influences. Simplify your life as much as possible. You'll see that your life will become easier and less expensive. You'll have fewer financial pressures. Our trading strategies are hands off, most of the time. But, when it all hits the fan, the clearer mind, will make better decisions -- and that translates into profits.

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The Market
Last week the market moved up on very low volume, even considering it was a holiday week. We might be in for some additional upside. Why? Because the earnings estimates may be a bit low - and the real earnings numbers may look better by comparison.

On the other hand, the low volume rise could be a problem. It may represent that the buyers were not that committed. We might be looking at a pullback at the beginning of the week. Our positions are in pretty good shape. Let's sit back and do the couch potato thing - kick up our feet and watch for potential trades.

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Hi Mike -- I just signed to your Couch Potato service. I would like to know where I can find your columns and also I can find how I will receive e-mail about your new positions and maintenance of the existing one. I would like to read any article you have about the strategy we use here, etc.

Thanks for your help and I want to learn as much as I can in this 30 days trial to be ready to go with real money. Regards. Ed

Hi Ed -- Welcome to the Couch Potato Trader. Now that you have access to the OptionInvestor website, I suggest you go to the Couch Potato Trader postings and access the archives of my column. They go all the way back to January 2005. When you're at the posting, scroll to the bottom and click on "next" to expose another entire page of postings. Continue the process all the way back to Jan. 2005 and start reading. You'll get a good idea of how the positions are suggested, how to enter them, and a lot of other important information. I apologize that the archives are not easier to navigate. Rumor has it that the "powers that be" are working to improve this aspect of the site.

I'm assuming you already have a working knowledge of options and how they work together, etc. The Couch Potato Trader requires at least an intermediate knowledge of options. You should not trade any strategy you do not understand well.

If you want a refresher on option basics, you can go to the Options 101 section on the OptionInvestor site. I've written some columns for Options 101 that I think you will enjoy. At some point, it would be worth your while to attend one of my two-day seminars.

Feel free to send me questions as they arise when you're reading. Take care and keep in touch. Mike

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CURRENT JULY CPTI PORTFOLIO POSITIONS

CPTI July Position #1 - SPX - Iron Condor - 1530.44

On 5/30, we sold 15 July SPX 1400 puts and bought 15 July SPX 1385 puts for a credit of $.70 ($1,050). On 6/4 we put on the bear call spread to complete our Iron Condor. We sold 15 July SPX 1625 calls and bought 15 July SPX 1640 calls for a credit of $.70 ($1,050). Our net credit and profit potential is $2,100. Our maintenance is still $22,500.

CPTI July Position #2 - SPX - Iron Condor - 1530.44

On 6/4, with the SPX at about 1536, we sold 12 July SPX 1440 puts and bought 12 July SPX 1425 puts for a credit of $.70. Then we sold 12 July 1625 calls and bought 12 July 1640 calls for a credit of $.70. The total net credit of $1.40 and profit potential is $1,680. Maintenance requirement is $18,000.


CPTI July Position #3 - RUT - Iron Condor - 852.31
On 6/21, with the RUT at 839.81, we sold 20 July RUT 770 puts and then bought 20 July RUT 760 puts for a credit of $.55 ($1,100). Then we sold 20 July RUT 900 calls and bought 20 July RUT 910 calls for a credit of about $.40 ($800). Total net credit and profit potential of about $.95 ($1,900). We have a 130-point maximum profit range- from 770 to 900. Our maintenance is $20,000.

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CURRENT AUGUST CPTI PORTFOLIO POSITIONS
CPTI August Position #1 - RUT - Bull Put Spread - 852.31

On 6/29, with the RUT at 844, we sold 20 August RUT 740 puts and then bought 20 August RUT 730 puts for a credit of $.45 ($900). Total net credit and profit potential of about $.45 ($900). Our maintenance is $20,000. We'll look for opportunities to complete our Iron Condor if/when the market pops up.

CPTI August Position #2 - SPX - Iron Condor - 1530.44

On 7/3, with the SPX at about 1524.50, we sold 12 August SPX 1400 puts and bought 12 August SPX 1385 puts for a credit of $.65. Then we sold 12 August 1615 calls and bought 12 August 1630 calls for a credit of $.80. The total net credit of $1.45 and profit potential is $1,740. Maintenance requirement is $18,000.


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ONGOING STRATEGY - THE ZERO-PLUS Strategy
In the past, I outlined a strategy based on an initial investment of $100,000. At that time, $74,000 was spent on zero coupon bonds maturing in about seven years at a value of $100,000. The principal $100,000 investment is guaranteed. We're trading the remaining $26,000 to generate a "risk free" return on the original investment. We are not compounding our profits by dramatically increasing the number of contracts we trade. Our new cash total is $52,210 ($49.610 $2,500).

ZERO PLUS POSITION -
RUT - Iron Condor - 852.31

On 6/21, with the RUT at 839.81, we sold 30 July RUT 770 puts and then bought 20 July RUT 760 puts for a credit of $.55 ($1,650). Then we sold 20 July RUT 900 calls and bought 20 July RUT 910 calls for a credit of about $.40 ($1,200). Total net credit and profit potential of about $.95 ($2,850). We have a 130-point maximum profit range- from 770 to 900. Our maintenance is $20,000.

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CPTI SEMINAR SCHEDULE!

NEW DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON.
Take your trading from a "hobby" to a potentially profitable "business." You need the information you'll learn at my CPTI seminar. You'll learn more than the "how to's" of trading our strategies. You'll learn a new lifestyle - one that can last a lifetime.

DO YOU HAVE PROFIT-ABILITY?
It's always a challenge (and a pleasure) for me to have a roomful of bright people who have a passion for, and are excited about, learning. We go over everything imaginable - from the non-directional strategies to the psychology of trading. We cover a lot more than the mechanics. Inquiring minds want to know the whens and the whys -- not just the hows. That way, they're prepared for the best (and the worst) - and know the best way to handle either situation. Contact me and I'll personally call you with all the details.

If you're a SERIOUS options trader, you want to learn the nuances of our advanced non-directional trading strategies and hone your trading skills. Contact me ASAP at mparnos@optioninvestor.com. Send me your phone number. I'll call you with all the pertinent information. The price is a bargain - ONLY $995.00 -- less than the profit from one Iron Condor trade. You'll have a two-day experience that you'll remember, and profit from, for a lifetime. I limit our CPTI seminars to ONLY 25 ATTENDEES. And, as a bonus, if you attend one of my CPTI seminars, you are entitled to RETAKE the seminar a SECOND TIME at NO CHARGE!

51 OUT OF 55 PROFITABLE MONTHS!!
WANT TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITHOUT STRESS?
OF COURSE YOU DO!!
USE OUR CPTI WEALTH-BUILDING TECHNIQUES!

You should definitely attend one of my seminars. With what you learn, you'll see a substantial increase in your trading results. Contact me at: mparnos@optioninvestor.com. If you've already signed up, I'll see you there. If you haven't signed up, what are you waiting for?

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HAPPY TRADING!
Remember the CPTI credo: Our remote batteries and self-discipline should last forever, but mierde happens. Be prepared! In trading, as in life, it's not the cards we're dealt. It's how we play them.
MIKE PARNOS, Your Options Therapist and CPTI Master Strategist

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Couch Potato Trader Disclaimer
All results reported in this section are hypothetical. While the numbers represented here may have been achieved or beaten by our readers, we make no representation that any individual investor achieved these exact results. The tracking for the plays listed in this section uses closing prices for the day the newsletter is published and it is not meant to imply that any reader actually received those prices (though many often do) or participated in these recommendations (even though many do). The portfolio represented here is hypothetical and for investment education purposes only. It is only an illustration of what type of gains a knowledgeable trader might receive utilizing these strategies. If you don't get close to these results, guess what. It isn't the fault of the strategies.

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